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NRA Supporters Are Blowing Perfectly Good Eskies to Bits

After the NRA's former president said the YETI cooler company "declined to do business" with the guns rights group.

by Adam Forrest
24 April 2018, 11:47pm

Screenshot via YouTube channel Camo4x4s

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

Apparently a good old-fashioned consumer boycott just isn’t visually dramatic enough for some people. Some of the most theatrical of NRA supporters have decided YETI coolers must be publicly destroyed in protest, following the NRA Institute for Legislative Action's announcement that the cooler company was cutting ties with the gun rights group, the Washington Post reports.

Pro-gun activists have since found various ways to obliterate YETI products—crushing them, shooting them up, and blowing them to bits in empty fields.

The violence against the perfectly good camping coolers stems from a recent email sent out to NRA members by the organization’s former president Marion P. Hammer claiming YETI had "declined to do business with the NRA Foundation." But according to a statement from YETI, the company had merely ended "a group of outdated discounting programs" for several organizations, and had offered the NRA Foundation "an alternative customization program."

Still, the backlash has been fierce. In South Carolina, a guy named Bryan Atkinson used ammonium nitrate and aluminium powder to make sure his cooler exploded when he fired his AR-15 rifle at it, filming the ceremony on Facebook Live. The YouTube channel Camo4x4s posted a similar video in which a woman uses a rifle and an explosive target to send another cooler to Kingdom Come.

The owner of a firearms training center decided to fill a YETI tumbler full of holes on his shooting range. Another guy went into Joe Pesci Casino mode, putting a YETI tumbler in a vice and squeezing until it's completely bent out of shape. Others made do by ripping the YETI logo from their cap or chucking a tumbler into the trash.

Several companies have ended discounts with NRA members following the high school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Florida that killed 17 people in February. Sporting goods outlets like REI, Walmart, and Dick’s have even updated their policies on selling certain guns and brands with ties to the NRA. As for YETI, it claims that it is "unwavering in [its] belief in and commitment to the Constitution of the United States and its Second Amendment."

Still, the backlash against the NRA after Parkland seems to be helping its fundraising efforts. According to the Hill, the organization raised $2.4 million in March, the most successful fundraising month it's seen in the last 15 years.

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